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Old 06-11-2018, 04:01 PM
 
47 posts, read 23,589 times
Reputation: 75

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I'm planning to relocate to a new city soon, and I'm looking for advice on whether Grand Rapids would be the right city for me. Currenly I live in Columbus, Ohio. I am a single, female IT professional in my early 30s. Are there a lot of young professionals in Grand Rapids, or is it mainly families? I'm worried that it might not be the best place for single people in their 30s. There are a few reasons I like the idea of moving to Grand Rapids. I love the outdoors and having four seasons, including snow. I'm generally outside and running/hiking at all times of year. Also I like that it's close to my family. I would like an area where I can walk to coffee shops, stores, etc, but I'm not big into bars or nightlife.

What is the job market like for IT jobs? I've seen on several websites that Grand Rapids is an up-and-coming tech city, but the rather few job postings I've seen on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed don't really back that up.

I am also considering Raleigh, NC. I know that the job market would be stronger there, and that it would be a better place for a young single professional. However, I love snow and having four seasons, so I'd prefer Grand Rapids' weather over Raleigh's. Also, I would be farther from my family than I would be if I chose Grand Rapids.

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Louisville
4,390 posts, read 4,189,847 times
Reputation: 7533
Hopefully someone can give you a more detailed response on some of your questions than I can.

Question - Is Grand Rapids a good city for younger singles in their 30s, or better for families.

Answer- Yes to both. Keep in mind Grand Rapids is not going to be Columbus. The Columbus area is more than double the size of Grand Rapids, along with being the seat of one of the largest flagship universities in the country. No matter how you slice Columbus will have more options. That said Grand Rapids has a dominating presence of a large research university in Grand Valley State, along with several smaller schools in the area. A bright spot for the GR area has been it's ability to retain out of state students after they finish school. Grand Rapids is known for it's brewery scene and has a half dozen music venues that are quite active. They routinely attract shows not normally seen in a city this size. While it's not going to be the caliber of Columbus, Grand Rapids has definitely moved the needle toward the hip/trendy/gentrifying direction.

Question: Is Grand Rapids a tech city?

Answer: Grand Rapids has a growing tech presence, but my understanding is that it still lags behind some of the more hip cities it's sometimes ranked with. Grand Rapids main job sectors are in Corporate, Bio-Science, High tech Manufacturing, and STEM related industries. I have heard the tech sector here is struggling with a talent shortage, and recruiting hard. I do not know where it ranks comparatively, or what the out look is for future growth.

Should you dive deeper into your search there are a handful of neighborhoods I would focus your search on regarding walkability (coffee shops/stores ect.) I'd rank them in this order:

1. Westside
2. Eastown
3. East Hills/Cherry Hill
4. Heritage Hill
5. North Monroe
6. The Heartside
7. Downtown
8. Creston

Have you by chance looked into Detroit as an option? Downtown Detroit and it's surrounding neighborhoods have been rapidly gentrifying. They are surprisingly attractive to young singles. Over the last year I've had a half dozen friends (not connected with each other) move into those neighborhoods. It's home to several big companies, with several more moving in. I believe some of them are also tech related. While Detroit may not be quite as accessible to the north country and nature as Grand Rapids is, it really may be a dark horse in your search. It would still provide you with the weather you favor. (Although it gets about half as much snow as Grand Rapids if that matters.)

Either way good luck!

Last edited by mjlo; 06-12-2018 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:28 AM
 
47 posts, read 23,589 times
Reputation: 75
Thanks for the information! Interesting about Detroit -- I had not considered it. I'm glad to hear your friends enjoy it.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,169,753 times
Reputation: 3895
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeket View Post
I'm planning to relocate to a new city soon, and I'm looking for advice on whether Grand Rapids would be the right city for me. Currenly I live in Columbus, Ohio. I am a single, female IT professional in my early 30s. Are there a lot of young professionals in Grand Rapids, or is it mainly families? I'm worried that it might not be the best place for single people in their 30s. There are a few reasons I like the idea of moving to Grand Rapids. I love the outdoors and having four seasons, including snow. I'm generally outside and running/hiking at all times of year. Also I like that it's close to my family. I would like an area where I can walk to coffee shops, stores, etc, but I'm not big into bars or nightlife.

What is the job market like for IT jobs? I've seen on several websites that Grand Rapids is an up-and-coming tech city, but the rather few job postings I've seen on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed don't really back that up.

I am also considering Raleigh, NC. I know that the job market would be stronger there, and that it would be a better place for a young single professional. However, I love snow and having four seasons, so I'd prefer Grand Rapids' weather over Raleigh's. Also, I would be farther from my family than I would be if I chose Grand Rapids.

Thanks for any insight!
I think you would love it here. And you would feel a lot less like a "number" and more a member of a community. There are quite a few meetup groups now in GR centered around tech:

https://www.meetup.com/cities/us/mi/...jjN8tnpMsv_e4E

And there are plenty of outdoor areas for running/hiking either small scale/everyday exercise and for extended hiking, backpacking and camping. There's also a very large biking community in the area, both mountain biking and road biking, but I know you didn't mention that. Kayaking, downhill skiing/snowboarding, fly-fishing, snowshoeing, can also be had right in the metro area.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:00 AM
 
Location: California ( Bay area)
36 posts, read 39,024 times
Reputation: 34
Did you end up moving to GR?

A place for 20 something singles, yes..... For 30-40's singles.... not so much, it is a conservative city. I think Chicago or Detroit would be a better option for older singles, not to mention the population is just bigger.

I lived in GR for 10 years, I found it to be a wonderful place to raise a family, and boy was it! So much to do for families and children. I miss it every day.
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